Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Message from the Chief Executive 5th June 2020/Neges gan am Prif Weithredwr 5 Mehefin 2020

Difficulty: 0

Bore da i chi gyd, a chroeso i neges fideo yr wythnos hon. Good morning everyone and

welcome to this week's video message. Again this week we can take some satisfaction that

for the second consecutive week we have recorded no further Covid-19 related deaths. We remain

diligent however, and will do all that we can to ensure that any measures to relax the

lockdown arrangements in accordance with Government guidelines are done so in a manner that will

not undermine the current position and prioritise well-being and safety for our communities.

Please bear with us. Once again I want to thank Council staff for your continued endeavours

to support the communities we serve and indeed each other. The amazing work continues from

across the PCC family, but of course this week I would like to focus on the continued

efforts of our local volunteers, and again highlight the Pembrokeshire volunteers and community

groups who have been working so hard to support others during the pandemic. A thank you letter

has been sent to all community groups registered with Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary

Services. As we come to the end of volunteers week, I would like to echo the letter and

say that on behalf of the Community Hub and our partner organisations, thank you for everything

that you are doing to support the people of Pembrokeshire during the pandemic. The recent

changes in regulations reinforce that movement is restricted to your local area. This has

been identified by the Welsh Government as an approximation of a five mile radius from

your home. Members of two households from the same local area not travelling more than

five miles can now meet outdoors as long as they maintain social distancing. Pembrokeshire

County Council car parks at attractions and beauty spots, including many public toilets

currently remain closed, so please check before travelling. We would like to remind all motorists

that if you do venture out for exercise, parking restrictions still apply in order to maintain

road safety. As with other service areas coastal car parks will be reviewed in line with current

advice. They remain closed currently as a clear message that travel remains restricted

and associated tourism amenities remain closed. A critical point for us all to note is that

lifeguards are not currently patrolling beaches and clearly we wish to avoid the potential

for the unfortunate incidents that we have witnessed elsewhere across the Country. We

will continue to review and monitor this carefully and take cautious, measured steps to provide

the benefits of the eased regulations, without putting our residents or the County at any

unnecessary risk. I want to return now to give you a bit more information about business

grants that I touched on last week. I'm joined this week by my colleague Paul Ashley-Jones.

Paul is our head of procurement and customer services and I've asked him to join me for

this week's video for an update on the processing of business grants that I referenced last

week. Paul, thanks for coming in. I know that the last couple of months has been a really

hectic time for you and for the team, the staff behind you, so I'm grateful for you

giving up a bit of time to share some more information with us regarding business grants,

and I suppose my first question ought to be really, how many have we had to process and

consider thus far? Well by the middle of this week we'd paid out almost £40 million to

Pembrokeshire businesses and that's about 3,300 applications. That's alot of work. Yeah,

what's the timescale remaining, I touched on deadlines last week and I think there's

a important date looming? There is, and that changed last week. Originally the timescale

that Welsh Government set for these grants was the 31st March next year, but that's now

been brought forward to the end of this month. So, all grant applications have got to be

in by the 30th June by 5pm, and I would encourage all businesses not to leave it to that last

moment and get your applications in as soon as possible. Did that tweak in legislation

Paul, allow other categories of people to apply that previously weren't able to? Yes,

we've also had, they've broadened the category of applications and it's now open as well not

just to businesses, but also to some charities and sports clubs, and we are in the process

of contacting those applicants now. OK, and what have we done regarding making it clear

as to how businesses can apply for the money that they are entitled to? Well, since the

end of March when then grants scheme was announced we've been promoting the scheme . We've done

press releases, it's on our website via social media and we've had a very good take up

but what we've now done is 1,500 businesses that could potentially apply for the grant,

we've written to them, advised them of the deadline and encouraged them to apply as soon

as possible. Have we had a good response to that letter? because obviously if people are

entitled to these grants we want to make sure that they can access them. We are getting

grant applications in on a daily basis, probably only 20-30 at the moment, but we are hoping

that, that will increase now over the days and weeks to come. Paul, as I said at the

start , this has been a huge undertaking for people and I know a massive effort on the

part of many people. How are they holding up? and do we think they are going to last

the duration now in terms of that deadline for an applications? I think it has been a

very busy period, and you know it's been a real team effort by staff across Pembrokeshire

and I'm very grateful for everybody's support on it. It's obviously for the rest of this

month it's going to continue to be very, very busy and we'll obviously have ones to sweep

up then afterwards, applications that come in but I think we all realise just how vital

this money is for businesses in Pembrokeshire and we are doing everything we can to process

the grants. Thanks again Paul for giving up your time and coming in. I know it's been

a very hectic schedule, we are really grateful on behalf of the Council, to you and to your

team for all of the work they have done. I'm sure the business community is equally grateful.

Of course, they are the main beneficiaries here and hopefully the combined efforts of

everybody will help many of those businesses survive and prosper into the future, so thanks

very much for your efforts. Thank you, it's been a real team effort, and it's be great

to see everybody pulling together and we know how important it is to the businesses of Pembrokeshire.

In conclusion this week, I'm extremely proud of the work that's gone on in the planning

around this operation and the commitment shown by Council colleagues, officers and members

alike. We are working together to support each other through this challenging time.

Dyna I gyd am y tro, diolch am wylio Thats all for now, thanks for watching

The Description of Message from the Chief Executive 5th June 2020/Neges gan am Prif Weithredwr 5 Mehefin 2020